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Read Around the World 2020 Ireland


As the map might suggestion our visit this month was to the Republic or Ireland.(Northern Ireland is still waiting for the randomiser to choose it)

Fun facts about Ireland from this website – some of these cover Northern Ireland as well..

  • As a largely Catholic country, St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. But what many people do not realize that St. Patrick was not, in fact, Irish.
  • Although part of the legend of St. Patrick is that he chased snakes out of Ireland, scientists have proved that there were never snakes in Ireland.
  • Did you know that Ireland’s national symbol is the harp? Ireland is, in fact, the only nation in the world with a musical instrument as its national symbol.
  • Most countries around the world use some kind of postal codes (zip codes in the United States) on their addresses. But, did you know that the Republic of Ireland was the only state in the European Union that did not have postcodes until very recently?
  • The tradition of wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day started during the 1798 rebellion. Why green? Because one of the national symbols that was adopted then was the clover.
  • Eurovision Song Contest – Ireland has participated 52 times since 1965 and with 7 wins, it is the country that has won the most in the history of the contest.
  • Although most people in Ireland now speak English, the Irish have their own language. Known as Irish, Gaelic, or the Irish language, Irish is a Celtic language.
  • Did you know that Halloween has its origins in the Celtic harvest festival of Samhain, that took place in Ireland at the end of the summer?

I choose to visit Ireland via The Heather Blazing by Colm Tóibín the story takes place in Dublin and Wexford and switches between the past and present as the reader is given the life story of a prominent judge in Ireland’s high court.

This was a 3 star read for me I enjoyed the build up as we are slowly shown the events that lead to Eamon Redmond being a high court judge and the events unfolding around him in the present day.

Throughout the book it is clear that Eamon is a man in love with the law and the guidance of society while not actually really connecting with the people who form that society including his own family. The book really tugs on the heartstrings when the reader realises the extent to which Eamon has essentially isolated himself even within his own marriage.

While I enjoyed the book I didn’t love it and I found the ending to be puzzling, hopeful yes but definitely puzzling in terms of what had come before.

Other readers read the following: Simona on Litsy – Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney and gave this a pick and 4 stars.

Currey on Litsy – Girl by Edna O’Brien a pick.

Did you join the trip this month? Let us know in comments what books you choose.

Next month we are off to Colombia will you be joining us and what will you read? I really need recommendations!



3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Currey #

    I also read the Edna O’Brien’s book The Country Girls which had more to do with Ireland than O’Brien’s Girl. The Country Girls was considered obscene when first published as the girls actually spoke of sex and even sometimes participated in sexual encounters outside of marriage. Furthermore it did not shine a positive light on the church and therefore was it was condemned in Ireland while being celebrated around the world. Today, it reads rather tame but nevertheless a good read.


    March 26, 2020
  2. Fruit of the Drunken Tree is a good read for Colombia – you get a good sense of the history during the 90s. I also really liked The Sound of Things Falling.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 3, 2020
    • Book Worm #

      Thanks I have heard good things about that book


      April 4, 2020

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